Restaurant Review: Wine Ohs Bistro & Cellar

>> Monday, January 14, 2013

Looking back 2012 was a great year personally and I will miss it, however I’m also looking forward to 2013. It’s already off to a great start and I can’t wait to see what else is in store this year. In 2012 Calgary also saw a lot of changes on the restaurant scene. Many establishments were refurbished in to new hot spots like Wine Ohs, which used to be a quaint French bistro called Piq Niq which also featured a jazz bar below. Like the restaurant before it, they’re still serving great food and tunes in their renovated space.

Atmosphere: Decorated with a French bistro flare yet pleasantly comfortable and welcoming, a great space that can accommodate both small and larger groups.

Price Range: Mid $10s - $20s

Food and Wine: A good portion of the menu at Wine Ohs changes daily based on the Chef’s creations and what’s currently fresh. The Pate on the day we were there was a Duck Rillette, essentially a type of meat that has been cooked in fat until tender, shredded and reformed in to a spread like texture. Even though the duck is cooked in fat, the spread did not taste oily or heavy. It was great spread over top a crispy baguette accompanied by a sharp grainy mustard and pickled beets. I did find it a bit under salted but the mustard did help quite a bit.

Our second appetizer was the Beef Tartare served with a side of crunchy housemade chips. The tartare was creamy and tangy, with chunks of cornichons throughout. I found that I didn’t really need to Dijon mustard that was served on the side of the tartare and the pickled veggies were just an nice accompaniment to this dish and not really required, I still enjoyed them on their own though.

The Braised Lamb Shank was the entrée of choice that night, perfect for a wintery evening in Calgary. The shank tender, juicy and flavourful, more than what I expected from a normal lamb shank and it went along with the apple and root vegetable ragout beautifully. Each bite was combination of sweet and salty with just the right amount of acid coming from the sauce, pulling the whole dish together by highlighting the lamb which was literally falling off the bone.

For dessert, we had the Dark Chocolate Cake but instead of asking for our usual ice cream, we decided to combine it with the Frozen Vanilla Mousse. The texture of the mousse was a bit thicker than normal ice cream, but had a wonderful vanilla flavour. Since it was chilled it added a nice dimension to the chocolate cake which was topped with amazing caramel and cashew goodness. The cake itself is quite the statement dish and tasted moist and full of cocoa, perfect way to end the meal.

You can’t go to Wine Ohs and not sample their wines. They also have happy hour special in their lounge (aka cellar) so definitely ask your server! That evening we had a great bottle of their featured Bordeaux wine which went nicely with the lamb and chocolate. Be sure to ask the server for their suggested pairings.

My Picks: Braised Lamb Shank

Overall: Change can be good and Wine Ohs has demonstrated that by still serving great French food in a relaxing atmosphere. It’s a great place to wind down the day with a glass of wine or visit their lounge to listen to the eclectic bands featured on their stage, don’t forget to ask for their menu to sample the delicious eats as well!

Wine Ohs Bistro & Cellar
811 1st Street SW
Calgary, AB
(403) 263-1650

Wine-Ohs Bistro & Cellar (Wine bar, Restaurant, & Music venue) on Urbanspoon


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